Mobile tools and equipment

Samuel Technician Somers Point, New Jersey Posted   Latest  

Hello...I am a previous shop owner. I am currently full speed ahead in preparation of being mobile. My question to the community is, what innovative tools and equipment do YOU use to make your mobile business and experience more efficient. Speak on what you do, whether it be for Oil Changes, Brakes, Diag, Programming, etc....is there a limit you will not go beyond?.......What is vastly different in what I will need in my business vehicle vs what we keep in our shops? Thank you in advance for giving this some thought!!!!

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Benjamin Diagnostician
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Benjamin Default
 

The Milwaukee packout system is awesome!! I love my Canon iP110 printer for printing invoices. Also see the attached pic for a mobile box I bought at Home Depot. I keep all of my programming interfaces and a maintainer in this. My laptop and an Autel MS908p stay in a backpack that I can grab and go.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

Benjamin, I like your mobile cart. My backpack is getting real heavy. This looks like a great solution.

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Benjamin Diagnostician
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Benjamin Default
 

It has served me well. It was only about $50. It helps keep my gear dry, and once I am at the car I know I have everything I need for programming.

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Awesome! This is the input that I needed!!!!

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Samuel: I think that you have the questions backwards. Decide what you want to do. Then you can determine what you need. You are not going to do it all. You may as well get over that delusion before you start. What will your market support? You know as well as I do, the shore area is a completely different market than Philly. HTH, Guido

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
   

This is fact and a GREAT realistic response and I absolutely agree. I am developing a specific business model. This is part of my homework. Even though I wont do EVERYTHING that the others are doing, this is my way of reading the book vs only specific chapters. Without a doubt Anthony...you nailed it...market dictates....on the shore this is a tough sell....in Philly....a whole different

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Samuel, I would recommend looking at tasks that are valuable to shop owners and end users alike. Our company specializes in diagnostics and programming. We are not seen as competitors to shops so we are attractive to most. Beware that it is not a service that has instant success. It takes time to build the customer base and learn the nuances of the common and not so common vehicles. All the

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Thank you Michael......this too was my thought as it pertains to competition and success...great input!

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Matthew Mobile Technician
Bartlett, Illinois
Matthew Default
 

I love my Epson portable printer for invoices and wiring diagrams. I have a Ram mount for a Toughbook and the printer. I have 6 Toughbooks, the one mounted in the car may seem like overkill... but you cannot beat the daylight readable display. More thoughts to come tomorrow!

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Awesome Matthew......I am shopping Toughbooks now....we will have to touch base more on the model or models you chose and the operating systems and specs that cover your needs.....talk soon!!!!

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
 

We currently use only Dell E series ATG. They are inexpensive and most parts interchange.

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
 

The do it all mentality only works for a short time doing mobile. Decide what you want to do, what you are good at and gear up 100% for that. You will need a semi full of equipment and a crew of 10 trying to do it all. Personally I decided to focus on programming and diagnostics work to auto repair shops, body shops, and transmission shops. This has worked well for me.

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

This seems the most probable situation,, not just for me but for many. I definitely knew from the initial thought that there was NO WAY I could do it all. Maybe if someone is fortunate enough to have a shop and have a designated tech for mobile as well, that may work for taking on everything. I was thinking diag and programming. However, I did not see why I might not be able to handle an

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
 

6 Years ago I started, I was busy right away. I learned to maximize my time. learned when to walk away and when to run. I trained my son who is 23 now to do programming. We are at least 2 days behind. we are doing twice as much today and doesn't seem possible we thought we were busy when we started. Looking to add another guy soon. The investment to equip a vehicle is huge though.

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

We will have to talk more....I will explain my equipment vision and what I "think" that I need and you can give me your opinion and let me know if I am on track or wasting money.

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
   

I started with a Jbox, A Ford IDS and struggled in the beginning. I now I have GM Tech2, MDI, MDI2, Ford IDS, Chrysler Micropod, Star mobile, DRBIII, Toyota Techstream Lite with Mongoose. A Mastertech, Mastertech VCI, BMW Icom Next, a b and c. JLR with VCM, about 4 Jboxes. I just ordered a Mercedes C4 (clone) Not my first clone. Autologic, Autel, 2 Pico scopes. I could go on and on. I see what

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John Diagnostician
Butler, Pennsylvania
John Default
 

I had the same thought as you when I started. Hell I could do it all, brakes, oil, fuel pumps, whatever someone needed. That didn't last very long! I got into mobile diagnostics mainly for shops, and now I have a lot less headaches of dealing with crappy customers that give bad checks and bitch about the price. Good Luck

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Thank you for the plain truth! I do appreciate it!

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Brian Owner
Parma, Ohio
Brian Default
 

I agree with the other comments in this post.. what a resource to help you get going!! In my opinion, sharpen your focus or you will be all over the place trying to do everything and getting nothing done. You need to get pulse on the demographics of your area and what need you can service. - A question for you.. What area of the mobile business that you are starting are you already really

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Thank you for replying and I will keep you all posted and I will surely be asking more questions!!! Despite previously owning my own shop, this feels and IS completely different. It definitely seems like foreign waters to me. I am going to continue to collect data, create a business model and get my "ish" together before I take the plunge. I originally thought that I would have less overhead

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Benjamin Diagnostician
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Benjamin Default
 

No two areas of the country (or even counties in your state for that matter) are the same. You have to find what your market needs and fill that void. I thought I had a plan when i first started. I soon realized that plan needed to be very fluid. I concentrated on the businesses that would call me the most often and made them a priority. I purchased more equipment/job supplies that would make my

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Benjamin Diagnostician
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Benjamin Default
 

I want to add to my above comment. I rarely do any work for individuals. I prefer only repair shops and body shops. I will occasionally do module programming or key registration for an individual (after proof of ownership is proven), but that is it. I for sure won’t perform diagnostics for an individual. If you do there is a high probability they will order the cheapest poorly made part from

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

This is good info! Being around this business for sooo long I knew that some companies would pay me through their accounting dept on a schedule that fits them. I was going through my head wondering how I could trust the public or "average Joe" to pay me. It is hard enough to explain to customers off the street at the shop virtually ANYTHING about a check engine light, especially if there are

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael Default
 

Sam, I am assuming you're in NJ as am I. I would strongly recommend you stick with doing work for shops and not for the vehicle owner. You will have far fewer headaches and you will have less hassles with the law as well as getting paid. Also if possible take cash only. Good luck.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris Default
 

I knew a guy in south jersey about 10 years ago who tried to do mobile maintenance. He lasted about two years. He wasn't focused on the diag/programming aspect, but driveway service. The profit for this was just not there in this area. Commercial may have been a different story. There are plenty of local shops that could use an "A" even if just for diag. I would sample the feedback at a few

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Thank you Chris....coincidentally enough, I randomly went to 2 different shops and asked about that. Not as advertising myself, but just picking their brain in casual conversation to see where they were at with it. I went there for other reasons but segued into this topic. I was surprised....the first shop owner had a basic scanner but NO real diag experience, invoices still done on 3 ply paper…

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Samuel: With what I see, your experience isn't unusual. That's a big reason I don't spend a lot of time in your area. Don't get me wrong. I go there but I tend to have a reason to do so. HTH, Guido

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
   

Michael H.....Agree to the above. I have used paypal for years for swiping cards and now reading chips. This seems to work.....maybe Zelle or other apps to get paid...not sure??? As you know, NJ is complicated. Many will say that all states have laws and restrictions. BUT, NJ has big time politics....if the local township knows your family name you can do "whatever the F you wanna do"....drive

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris Default
 

The south jersey shore is definitely a tough demographic. With the changes in Atlantic City and the rest of Atlantic County it will be tough. I am from the area and have wondered about the same idea. North and west are so different than this area.

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael Default
 

I have a suggestion for you. John Anello has been doing this for years in Bergen and Passaic county. I think he does Hudson and Essex county as well. He is speaking at the TST Big Event on 3/30/19 in The Tarrytown NY area. It might be worth the trip just to go and talk with him. As far as the 2 shops you went to, I can tell you this: The first one is a buffoon and the second one certainly can't

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Thank you Michael Hevner for the input! I am already booked and scheduled for the TST event.....I will be sure to look up Mr. Anello....if you speak to him often, let him know my intentions and I would definitely appreciate if he was able to set aside some time to discuss this venture with me

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
   

Hi Samuel: Ask John about his reaction in Montgomeryville, PA to the Parts & Service Manager of a local Volvo dealership telling him about the change in vehicle architecture back in 1998. I wish that I had it on video. (I think someone did record it.) Guido

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John Default
 

Samuel, I talk to between 15-20 gentleman a year looking to get into the mobile diagnostic/programming world. So far I can count on one hand those that have succeeded and are still in business full time. Mobile diagnostics/programming is all the rage right now. Everyone wants to be one. The truth is that it is a very hard, time consuming, and arduous business. Highly rewarding but also can

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
 

I also talk to many people interested in going mobile. Many have tried in my area and some have marginal success. I don't think they are prepared for the level of equipment and/or commitment to training that is required. Knowing when to walk away is also required. Most start in my area with an Autel J2534 device and soon realize the lack of ability to do what needs to be done. When I started I

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Inspirational...there is light at the end of the tunnel!!!!

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
 

It is inspirational. I am not bragging this has been a tough road. I stayed the course. I knew there was light. I also know that I can add 2-3 more people and keep them busy right now. I just don't want the hassle of that clientele. If you know what I mean. We have raised our prices so we are the most expensive. We have a reputation of getting the job done. We add carlines based on calls for

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Awesome....is it ok if I look you up to purchase equipment or ask your advice sometime?

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
   

Absolutely. toolhutusa​.​com We are reseller for AE Tools, AES wave, Direct sales Drew tech, ross tech, auto enginuity. I am passionate about the customer getting the equipment that will best serve them. Many times I get calls from shops looking for scopes. Interestingly they almost all own a scope. I always suggest getting their team using what they have and then we can see what

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

John, Excellent candid words and much appreciated. I would want nothing but honesty and real life examples based on experience. I would rather hear all the pitfalls, struggles and costs rather than hear about sunshine and rainbows. The sunshine will come later as a reward for the hard work!

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John Default
 

Samuel, I will be at TST all weekend. Come up and introduce yourself and we can chat.

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Hello....are you attending today?

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John Default
 

Samuel, I didn't check this forum while I was at TST. Sorry I missed you. Next time email me at …. I hope you had a great experience. There were a lot of people.

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